There are over 9.9 million single mothers and 11 million widowed women in our nation. For many of these women, Mother’s Day can be a day to dread instead of a day to celebrate. For the single mom working two or three jobs just to support her children, for the widow who doesn’t see a visitor all year long, for the military mom whose husband is deployed, Mother’s Day can be a day of loneliness and sadness. Danette Crawford, single mom, author, speaker, and TV host, has experienced this for herself.
When Danette’s baby was only two weeks old, her husband left. Overnight, she became a single mom. Her first Mother’s Day as a single mom, she realized that there was no one to honor mothers who did not have a husband, or a mom whose husband was deployed. Danette knew she had to do something to meet the needs of these many hurting women. In 2001, she began the Joy Ministries Annual Mother’s Day Celebration. She invited 100 single moms and widows, along with their children, to a special dinner at a classy hotel and gave them the honor that every mom deserves.
Every year since then, Danette and Joy Ministries have hosted thousands of single moms, widows, and military moms, whose husbands are deployed. They are invited to a gala celebration where they enjoy a special meal, receive flowers and gifts, and words of encouragement. Their children are also invited to attend and are blessed with a meal and special activities just for them. The invitation is extended to women from all backgrounds. Women come from low income housing, battered women’s shelters, homeless shelters, assisted living facilities and the community at large.
These precious women and children receive more than a meal; they are given hope. They get more than the red carpet treatment. Danette ministers a message of encouragement from her own experience in the areas that these moms struggle with — finances, loneliness, and raising children in a single-parent home.
A Lasting Impact…
This event doesn’t give them just a one day event to look forward to, it often changes their whole life. Throughout the years, we have seen people delivered from drugs, set free from depression, and freed from the spirit of suicide through this event!
Over 25,000 women and children have been registered for the event over the past seventeen years.
Over 3,900 door to door interactions are made every year with single moms and widows in low income communities.
Melissa was going to spend Mother’s Day alone with her three children. Finances were tight and she felt hopeless. Her husband was in prison for committing a white collar crime. Without her husband, she planned to sit at home on Mother’s Day. One day, while she was shopping, she saw a flyer for the Mother’s Day Celebration and decided to sign up. The event changed her life. It gave her hope and encouragement that she was not alone. Now, years later, Melissa comes to the Mother’s Day Celebration to work as one of our head volunteers. She is changing lives, just as her life was changed.
Regina was on drugs when she first attended the Mother’s Day Celebration. Her life had spiraled out of control and she was using her sons’ disability money to feed her addiction. Everything changed one year after attending the Mother’s Day Celebration. “The Mother’s Day Celebration helped me to decide that I wanted to be a better mother to my son,” she shared. It was there at the event that she decided to walk away from drugs. One year later she came back to the event to share what had happened and to share how she had been clean ever since. “I am being a better Mother to my son now,” she shared.